Monday, March 15, 2004

Sikh blog.

(Et tu, Brute? Then fall, Caesar. See last year's March 15 blog for more on that.)

I met Dr. Kathuria briefly this morning. In full, Chirinjeev Kathuria, MD, MBA, who is to my knowledge the only Sikh running for the U.S. Senate. He's running in the Republican primary, which is tomorrow, and he was out pressing the flesh outside Union Station when I emerged from my ride into town. Some of his campaign workers were handing out leaflets, and I took one and asked where the candidate was. I was directed to the right person: a dignified-looking fellow, about my age, wearing a suit and a turban.

I shook his hand and said, "Good luck."

"Thanks," he said. "That means a lot to me."

And maybe it did. I understand he's been getting a lot of hate mail, which is a damned shame.

Normally, I would say that identity politics is a bane, but the Senate would be a more interesting chamber, visually at least, if it had a Sikh member. That doesn't mean I'm going to vote for Dr. K for that reason alone, or at all, but I'm glad he's running, even though the odds of him being the nominee are slender -- he's "more likely to go to Mars," according to the Chicago Reader in its assessment of the primary.

His leaflet's also like no other political tract I've seen, in that it has a short lesson on Sikhism, with these subheads: Why the Turban? Sikh History. What Sikhs Believe.

Then there was Sikhs and California Peaches: "There is a saying about Sikhs that they have the power to make the desert bloom. Today, Sikh farms in Yuba and Sutter counties account for the production of fifty-five percent of California's cling peaches." Now that's a fact worth getting out of bed on Monday morning to learn.